Friday, October 22, 2010

Beef Stew

It's getting a little cooler these days and that means it's time for all those yummy soups and stews that I looooove to cook. I'm especially a fan of anything I can throw in the crockpot and have ready at 6pm when Jason gets home. I've made this stew several times and it's always a hit. It's rich and flavorful, hearty and filling and perfect to soak up with a nice french loaf of bread which is how the husband loves it and the leftovers are even better than they were the day before. I always amend recipes to my liking...hey...that's what I love about cooking (as opposed to baking), it's a free for all, just throw in what you like and move on. Here is the recipe from Allrecipes.com. At the bottom I'll put in my version and if you want to make this you can try their recipe, mine, or throw in whatever you like to eat! First of all, here are my ingredients (minus the beef broth which I forgot to put in the picture).


As you can see, I omitted the 1 stalk of celery and added mushrooms. I'm not buying a whole bag of celery for 1 stalk...but if it's your thing...add away! You basically toss the meat in the slow cooker with 1/4 cup flour and your seasonings, toss to coat, chop all your veggies and add those, toss it up and add your beef broth. It takes a bit of time to stand there and chop the veggies but it's worth it! The original recipe calls for 1.5 cups of broth but I use a whole pint (sometimes a little less if you like your stew super thick. Here is what it looks like all ready to go.

Put your slow cooker on the low setting and leave it for 6 hours. I promise your entire house will smell amazing. They don't make this smell at Yankee Candle (that'd just be weird), but it will make your mouth water when you walk in the door! Make sure you take your bay leaf (or two...yes...another way I change the recipe) before you eat. Or if you want to have fun, leave it in and the person who gets the bay leaf gets a surprise (I only kid). Butter and toast up your bread and you're left with this delicious dinner (or lunch, or breakfast if that's how you roll).

Simple and delicious Beef Stew. YUM.

Ok, so click on the Allrecipes link if you want the orginal recipe and below here is my changed version. Cooking is fun, so don't stress over exact amounts or ingredients and just enjoy the stew...please? It's a winner!

Beef Stew

1 1/2-2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes (I use kitchen shears to cut mine smaller than what the grocery store sells)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (I use more, I like a saltier stew)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced (I use about 3)
1 bay leaf (I use 2 small ones)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (I use about 3)
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups beef broth (again, here I use about a pint, one of those cardboard cartons you buy...but use however much you want)
3 potatoes, diced (I use 2 big ones)
4 carrots, sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped (I'm not buying a whole bag for 1 stalk so I omit)
* I add about 2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms an hour before the stew is done.

Directions

Place meat in slow cooker. In a small bowl mix together the flour, salt, and pepper; pour over meat, and stir to coat meat with flour mixture. Stir in the garlic, bay leaf, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, onion, beef broth, potatoes, carrots, and celery.
Cover, and cook on Low setting for 10 to 12 hours, or on High setting for 4 to 6 hours.

Now go forth and make beef stew ya'll. You won't regret it!

5 comments:

  1. This sounds delicious! Do you brown the meat first or put it in raw? Also, is it defrosted? I ask because I tend to forget to defrost meat and then end up tossing it into a pan, frozen, to defrost and brown.

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  2. Hmmm, I've got leftover pot roast that I'm going to turn in beef stew later today. I'm going to use your seasoning combo to spice it up.

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  3. sounds delicious!! When I first started cooking I would obsess over not having the exact ingredients, and try so hard to measure it out perfectly... now that I've become a stay at home mom and have had time to play I realized what I do and don't need or like and you're right it's so much fun!!

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  4. @ Melanie - I use fresh meat so I don't thaw it and I don't brown it, I just put it in.

    @Jody - Let me know how it turns out! I'm sure the pot roast meat in a stew would be amazing!

    @Jessi - I agree with you! It's so much fun just not being afraid of cooking and just going for it!~

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